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Drowning in Sea Level Nonsense

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Sea-level rise the thickness of a nickel

Drowning in Sea Level Nonsense

By Alan Caruba

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D) and forty members of Congress believe the sea levels are rising, that a panel should be created to determine what should be done, and, of course, to throw billions of dollars at a problem that does not exist. Politicians were eager to scare the public with the discredited global warming hoax and now they have found a new one. 

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a $20 billion flood barrier system to protect the city from future hurricanes and rising sea levels. Well, hurricanes like tropical storm Sandy are real, but rare. Rising sea levels, however, represent no threat at all.

William Happer who researched ocean physics for the U.S. Air Force and is currently a physics professor at Princeton University notes that “The sea level has been rising since 1800, at the end of the ‘little ice age’”, a cooling cycle last from around 1300 to 1850. Far from heating up, the Earth entered a new cooling cycle around 1996 or so.

Harrison Schmitt, a former Apollo 17 astronaut, U.S. Senator, and a geologist, says “Predicting a sea level rise of seven feet over the next few thousand years would seem too risky a prediction on which to spend tax dollars” and that is surely an understatement. Wasting billons on “climate change”, however, is the new siren call of the Obama administration, but the National Research Council is warning, as Fox News reported, “that those kinds of subsidies are virtually useless at quelling greenhouse gases.”

In fact, as the amount of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas—alleged to “trap” heat—has risen and has had zero effect on the cooling cycle.

A recent article in the British newspaper, The Register, reported on a study by scientists in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, that was published in “Nature Geoscience” that concluded there was no “scientific consensus” to suggest the rate of the seas’ rise will accelerate dangerously.

The notion of the seas rising, swamping coastal cities, and creating havoc is the stuff of science fiction, not science. This is why spending millions or billions on the assertions of some who have a real stake in keeping the public frightened is a very bad idea.

At the center of the global warming scare campaign is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its most recent report said that “no long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified using 20th-century data alone” but that does not discourage the IPCC from forecasting an increase due to global warming. This organization should be disbanded and, if I were in charge, many of its leaders would be in jail right now for fraud.

Who can you believe? One such person is Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, the former chair of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is the past president (1999-2003) of the International Union for Quaternary Research Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. He has been studying sea level and its effects on coastal areas for more than 35 years. I cited his credentials because others making predictions lack the same level of authority.

Dr. Morner acknowledges that “sea level was indeed rising from, let us say, 1850 to 1930-40. And that rise had a rate in the order of 1 millimeter per year. (Emphasis added). Get out your pocket ruler and look at what one millimeter represents. It is small. It is very small. Not surprisingly Dr. Morner is very critical of the IPCC and its headline-grabbing doomsday predictions. He scorns the IPCC’s claim to “know” that facts about sea level rise, noting that real scientists “are searching for the answer” by continuing to collect data “because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists. So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it!”

A recent paper reviewed by CO2 Science finds that sea levels have risen from 2002-2011 at a rate of only 1.7 millimeters per year over the past 110 years, the equivalent of 6.7 inches per century. This is close to Dr. Morner’s assertion that, at most, there has been a rate of increase that tops out at 1.1 millimeter per year. The review concluded that there is no evidence of any human influence on sea levels.

Even so, in early July a scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Josh Willis, told Fox News, that “There is no question that the time to prepare for sea level rise is now…We will definitely see seven feet of sea level rise—the only question is when.” And who funds NASA?

Between the scientists trying to gin up more government money for their agencies and departments and the politicians trying to find a new reason to spend more money, the public is left wondering if the oceans are rising and whether that represents something worth worrying about. The answer is (a) yes, sea levels are rising in infinitesimal amounts and (b) no, we need to stop spending money based on such claims.

It’s not the sea level rise you should worry about. It is the rising levels of national debt and the deficit.

© Alan Caruba, 2013


Sea-level rise the thickness of a nickel

By Robert Felix

According to the above article, sea levels have been rising anywhere from one millimeter to 1.7 mm per year. How much is that in reality? Depending on which number you use, that ranges 3/64ths of an inch to 1/16th of an inch. That’s the thickness of a dime to, worst-case scenario, the thickness of a nickel.

That amount of sea-level rise is far below normal. BELOW normal!

Do the math. Sea levels stood about 370 feet lower at the end of the last ice age than they do today. Multiply 370 times 12 and you get 4,440 inches. Divide that by 11,500 years, and you get .39 inches (.99 cm) per year. That’s more than a third of an inch, the thickness of five nickels. That means that today’s sea-level rise is far below normal. (Which I would expect as we head into an ice age.)

Besides that, when we look at sea-level rise, why do we concentrate almost solely on melting ice?

What about the estimated three million underwater volcanoes (according to NASA) that are constantly pumping basalt into the seas? Wouldn’t that amount of basalt contribute to sea-level rise?

And what about erosion? What about the huge amounts of sediments that wash into the sea each year?

NASA estimates that the the Mississippi River dumps 550 million metric tons of sediment into the Gulf of Mexico each year, enough to to extend the coast of Louisiana 91 m (300 ft) each year.

And the Amazon River annually carries as much as 1,000 million tons of sediment into the oceans.

That’s just two rivers.

If you calculated the amount of sediments pouring into the seas from all of the world’s rivers, I wonder how that would affect the numbers?

* * * 

Exposing the global-warming con job.

Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at “Warning Signs” and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than two million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place.


27 thoughts on “Drowning in Sea Level Nonsense”

  1. OMG, the “rot” has metastasized all the way to JPL.

    bind me and gag me with a fork.


    1. 😉 its metastasized to anywhere that thinks theres a buck in it for them.
      if only we could irradiate the warmistgerms and get back to healthy minds, and a normal perception of the world.
      its truly weird how many WANT to believe the worlds going to fry and die us all,
      when you present evidence as above that it isnt bad at all, they simply refuse to accept it.
      now that! is a sign of a very sick society!

      1. Yes, many are promoting GW because they want it to happen, not because they have any good reason to believe it’s happening.

  2. …yes JPL was a respectable institution …….was.

    Climate change is becoming a Cultural Revolution no doubt with all the attendant horrors to come.

    1. Eric, it has to do with what political party the person is affiliated with. The (D) stands for a Democrat in the Democratic party. Also if you see the R) behind a politicians name that is for a Republican from the Republican party.

  3. Thanks Robert. Amazing info about the rivers dumping so much sediment into the oceans. Certainly I agree with you about all that sediment flowing into the oceans having effect on sea levels. Looking at the sonar data in Google Earth I can see that great rivers once flowed where now there is sea, and I can see in the sonar data that those rivers flowed down to a depth even as far as four thousand meters below present day sea level. Thus indicating that sea levels, during Ice Ages, can be lower than today by as much as four thousand meters. Perhaps even worse ? During such times the Mediterranean Sea dries up completely. As so does the Black Sea too. At the end of the last Ice Age 12,500 years ago, as we entered the present Warm Interglacial period, the rising level of the Atlantic Ocean broke through the Straits of Gibraltar so as to form the Mediterranean Sea as we see it today. An ancient event which might be the “Flood of Noah” remembered in the Old Testament of the Bible ? Also back then in Neolithic prehistoric times the Sahara Desert was not a desert. It were a rich agricultural land with millions of people living there. There were ample rain and rivers and inland fresh water seas. So that as the Sahara area became desert the peoples died due to crops failings and the survivors migrated north into what is now modern Europe. In my opinion the legendary “Atlantis” was a very real and very major prehistoric ancient city situated in what is now the eastern area of the Mediterranean Sea and was built on top of what is now called the Eratosthenes Table Mount. Situated just south of present day Cyprus. The top of Eratosthenes Table Mount is 850 meters below present day sea level. The Nile River once flowed into a fresh water lake surrounding it. Indeed in past times as the Ice Age ended sea levels were rising very much. However now in our day the trend is the other way towards sea levels going down.

  4. Tell your warmista friends about how during the height of the last glaciation the ocean levels were some 200 meters lower than they are today and watch the expression on their faces. I usually get a mixture of eye rolls to giggles or outright anger like I stole their cookie…

  5. Good points by both Alan and Robert. Again we see selective data manipulation by the cult of warm and the MSM. Sea Levels are indeed flat or as Robert pointed out, far below historical norms. Add in erosion and other elements of the land vs. sea ‘battle’ and it is unlikely that NYC needs to spend $20 bn on a waterfront barrier. I wonder who benefits from all of these ‘public’ projects to save us from the non-existent threat of a rising sea level ? Weren’t the South Pacific Islands pace L Ron Gore supposed to be under water by now ?

    1. With seafloor spreading there is also subduction, where at the other end of the spreading tectonic plates, seafloor is undergoing subduction – getting shoved down into the mantle. And in some cases like the Indian continental plate, undergoing uplift- Himalayas. Robert’s point about sediment deposition and underwater(pillow)lava extrusions is a good one, and definitely overlooked by the warmistas.
      It’s a complex ongoing process:

  6. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine
    has data for the Sea Level Research Group at Colorado University
    back to 2004.

    What you can find is that the mean sea level time series in March of 2004, via the slope function in Microsoft Excel, originally yielded a value of 2.6 mm/yr of sea level rise. The
    current data for that same segment of history, 1992 – 2004 yields 3.5 mm/yr. That’s an increase of 0.9 mm/yr. Somehow the data has been changed.

  7. Politicians have always been scam artists, from ancient times to the present, but it’s a shame they’re trying to drag scientists down into the mud with them.

  8. Robert, instead of the basalt being deposited in the ocean depths, wouldn’t the simple introduction of 800 degree farenheight material into the deep ocean thereby increasing the temperature of the oceans (yes, microscopically) increase the volume of the water?? With the increase of the ice content in Antarctica, you would have less water for the global water cycle, so wouldn’t that mean that you should have a global seal level decrease?? You had articles several years ago delineating just that.

    1. If you tie underwater volcanism to above-water volcanism, then my answer is yes. If enough basalt pours into the seas to heat them, evaporation would increase. That moisture would rise into skies being cooled by the above-water volcanoes and fall to the earth as snow. This would lead to an ice age. And it wouldn’t have be any colder than it is right now. I’m not talking about a COLD age. I’m talking about an ICE age.

  9. A very interesting article. Very mind stimulating and Thought provoking!
    I would like to add another possible reason that the oceans may show a rise in certain locations:
    A rise in the mantel core would push an area of thousands of square miles upwards of several feet!
    This condition is currently going on in northern Oregon under the Cascades. I think that I had read that it was also occurring in the Yellowstone area.
    This would be a HUGE displacement of water!
    Have the Scientist even been looking for such a possibility? Have they even Thought of it?

  10. I am new to this site.

    The article and comments taught me more about sea level rise than I could learn in 100 years from Al Gore and friends.

    I will try to pass along the truth to warmists, but, I assume, it will not be welcome.

  11. In Rhode Island, the Ocean State, there’s a popular oceanside “watering hole” that hosted a Global Warming Awareness rally 2 weeks ago. The beach outside the watering hole was washed away by Hurricane Sandy last fall and now there’s no sand, just ocean, lapping against the piers. A Senator from the Midwest got up and spoke at the rally excoriating non-believers and pointing to how there used to be a beach right outside. He then stated that sea levels have risen by 10 inches since Global Warming began and if we don’t do something soon, the Ocean State soon will be reclaimed by the ocean. People at the rally who knew about erosion washing the beach away nonetheless cheered the Senator. Who knows, maybe they even believed what he said. After all, the Senator claimed that he got his information from scientists, although he didn’t say which ones.

    It’s wonderful to want to reduce carbon emissions and breathe clean air. But the hypocrites at the rally then got into their SUVs and drove to the nearest gas stations, spewing CO2 as they went. So let them eat carbon, is what I say.

  12. am i the only 13 year old who doesn’t believe global warming is real (I used to) also there is lots of religious backup that supports that ice age will return like in the Koran it says the last hour wont come tell the Arabian peninsula is green and filled with rivers and trees again and studies have shown that indeed during the last ice age the Arabian peninsula had a moderate moist climate with lots of rain and only way for that to happen again is if an ice age comes. also in the state I live in summer so far has been quite nice and moderate where usually temps are in the 90s and high humidity there in the high 70s to mid 80s with low humidity. also sry for any spelling mistakes I am a fast typer and too lazy too check over what I wrote

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